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Mutat Res. 2011 Dec 1;717(1-2):32-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mrfmmm.2011.04.005. Epub 2011 Apr 27.

MiRNAs as regulators of the response to inhaled environmental toxins and airway carcinogenesis.

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Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02118, USA.


miRNAs are a class of small, noncoding RNAs averaging 22 nucleotides in length that down-regulate gene expression by complimentary binding to the 3' UTR of target genes. A growing body of research suggests that these small RNA species play significant roles in modulating the cellular response to a variety of types of stress. In this review, we summarize the available literature regarding the general response of miRNA to cellular stress, and then specifically focus on the miRNA response to inhaled toxins. These miRNA responses to inhaled toxins appear to be recapitulated in lung carcinogenesis, opening the possibility that modulation of the miRNA response could be a novel strategy for chemoprevention.

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